A man who took the witness stand during the Derek Chauvin trial has been charged with choking his ex-girlfriend outside the Minnesota State Fair last week.
Donald Wynn Williams, 34, from Minneapolis, has been charged with two counts of domestic assault — by strangulation (a felony) and attempting to inflict bodily harm on another (a misdemeanor) — in an incident that happened on Saturday, Aug. 27.
Williams also is accused of fighting officers when they tried to arrest them. He claimed to investigators that he still suffers PTSD from seeing George Floyd's death play out in front of him.
Williams was a witness to Floyd's murder at 38th St. and Chicago Ave. on May 25, 2020. Video footage taken that day showed Williams being one of the louder witnesses during the incident, telling Chauvin to get off Floyd and asking then-officer Tou Thao to step in.
According to the criminal complaint:
On Saturday, Aug. 27 at about 5:15 p.m., police in St. Paul were advised of a domestic assault that took place in the area of Asbury St. and Midway Pkwy, just outside the Minnesota State Fairgrounds.
Officers met with a woman, who claimed that she and her three children were selling bottles of water on the blocks of Frankson Ave. and Arona St., as well as Arona St. and Midway Pkwy. She said she received a text from her ex-boyfriend, identified as Williams, asking her to buy ice for the coolers the water bottles were in.
Williams later told police that he and the woman were still romantically involved at the time and were also business partners.
The complaint states the two got into an argument over it via text, with the woman saying she didn't want to leave her children alone.
After awhile, the woman went to her vehicle, while Williams was sitting in his vehicle nearby. They once more got into an argument, with Williams then getting out of his car, walking up to the driver's side of the woman's car, and choking her through the open window.
He then proceeded to "backhand her on the left side of her face." Williams stopped when a witness yelled at him, and he fled the area.
The victim showed officers the injuries she suffered from the assault. A visible scratch mark and a small bruise as seen on her neck. She told authorities she feared for her life when Williams was allegedly strangling her.
Williams was found nearby shortly after the incident happened. The complaint alleges that Williams resisted arrest when police confronted him, but when an officer took out his Taser and pointed it at Williams, he complied and was handcuffed.
Once they got to the squad car, Williams "began kicking the squad car door and stating if he could take the cuffs off, he would 'f*** up' the officers and kill them," according to the complaint. He also allegedly threatened one of the officers, saying that he knew the cop's family was and would "come after them."
Williams is a former MMA fighter and has a background in taekwondo, he said during Chauvin's trial in 2021.
In an interview with investigators, Williams said tensions were high throughout the day between him and his ex-girlfriend. He denied strangling, striking or touching her during the altercation. Williams also said he didn't comply with police because "he was worried about his daughter being left by herself," the complaint states. He also said he was "very angry" about being arrested, stating he suffers from PTSD related to the Floyd death and trial that followed.
According to court records, Williams has two pending cases that involve him allegedly obstructing the legal process. On Aug. 18, Williams was also given a continuance for dismissal on a charge of disorderly conduct where he originally faced a fifth-degree assault charge.
Williams was officially charged in Ramsey County Court on Monday. He is in custody at the county jail. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of just over three years in prison.